University of Texas at El Paso
University Library


Degrees offered:

B.A., M.A

Number of faculty:


Number of majors in the program:

419* undergraduates
18* graduates

Faculty Liaison:

Tom Ruggiero

Library Subject Specialist:

Lisa Borden

Department Chair:

Patricia D. Witherspoon

*Fall, 2000 data as reported in The University of Texas at El Paso FACT BOOK, 2000-2001, Office of Institutional Studies, University of Texas at El Paso, 2000

Program Description

The Communications Department is part of the College of Liberal Arts. Communications offered its first courses for a BA degree in 1940/41. Communication majors are required to take 12 hours of core courses, 12 hours under a particular study sequence and 12 hours of electives. The total number of semester hours to complete a sequence in communication is 36. In Fall 2000, 419 student enrolled as undergraduate majors and there are 18 students enrolled in the graduate program. Regular faculty includes 6 tenure track.

Students must choose from one of five concentration areas -- Print Media, Organizational/Public Relations, Media Advertising, Electronic Media, and Communications Studies. In addition, the Department offers a Master of Arts Degree. Candidates must have 12 advanced hours in Communication and a satisfactory score on the GRE as prerequisites. Graduate students may elect to do a thesis. For majors electing to do a thesis, six hours of credit may be counted toward a required minimum of thirty hours of total course work, of which at least twenty-one hours must be in courses numbered 3500-3599. Majors electing a non-thesis option must take a minimum of thirty-six hours of total course work, of which at least twenty-seven must be in courses numbered 3500-3599.

Students rely on the library for assigned and recommended readings, for additional monographs, articles, film/television reviews, and documents to complete assignments. Faculty and graduate students use similar materials in greater depth; they also follow current research as published in journals and reports.

Description of Existing Collection
NCIP Code: Monographs 3B
Periodicals 3A
Reference 3B

Most of the materials for communication topics are covered in the Library of Congress classification numbers HF, HM, P, PN, portions of HE and TK. Communications materials focus on media broadcasting, public relations, advertising, writing, speech, intercultural communication, communications studies and includes the history, regulation and technology of communication. The materials provide a historical perspective, as well as providing information on the newer research in these fields. We have begun to collect materials on the newer broadcast and electronic resource technologies.

Reference provides materials on advertising, broadcasting, media guides, networking, writing, public affairs, film and popular culture. In additional Government Documents contains the publications of the Federal Communications Commissions, regulation of communication and Congressional hearings. Both areas contain current materials to adequately support discipline needs.

Our current collecting includes twenty nine serial titles that deal specifically with communication and an additional sixty-five general interest periodicals and newspapers can be used for the study of print media and advertising. 

Now that the department has a new chair, need to review the collection to meet the needs of new programs.

Desired Collection Level
NCIP Code: Monographs 3C
Periodcials 3C
Reference 3C

In 2000 collection focused on the needs to add more current and retrospective materials on cross-cultural, organizational and political communication. We still need to broaden our selection of materials on the current broadcast and electronic technologies and the effects of those technologies on communication. Reference still lacks up to date standard works such as the Communication Encyclopedia and review databases on the LAN.


Other Resources

El Paso Public Library has additional general interest periodicals and newspapers that can be used for the study of print media and advertising as does New Mexico State University at Las Cruces. NMSU contains additional materials in the HE, HF, HM, P, and PN call numbers.

Last updated: 03/20/03